Excursion Details

Best of Istanbul

IST-100 | Istanbul, Turkey | See Special Notes

from $149.00*

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*Price displayed in US Dollars unless otherwise noted; excursions priced in other currencies may be available on select voyages only. Prices are based on the amount Princess typically charges for each excursion, but your price may vary by voyage date and departure time.

Tour at a Glance

You will visit:
  • Hagia Sofia Hagia Sofia
  • Topkapi Palace Topkapi Palace
  • Blue Mosque Blue Mosque
  • Grand Bazaar & Carpet Demonstration Grand Bazaar & Carpet Demonstration
  • Topkapi Palace Harem Topkapi Palace Harem
  • Topkapi Palace Treasury
You will see:
  • Golden Horn

Moderate Includes meal Shopping

Excursion Length:
Approx. 8.5 hours

Max. Group Size: 35

Tour Overview

A scenic 25-minute drive in your motorcoach takes you across the Galata Bridge into the heart of Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey and the capital of the Ottoman Empire.

Your first destination is the Blue Mosque, also known as The Sultan Ahmed Mosque. This 17th-century marvel was built to rival and surpass the grandeur and beauty of nearby Hagia Sophia, and is a true study in color. It displays a multitude of domes and semi-domes and graceful minarets on the exterior, and over 20,000 shimmering blue Iznik tiles in more than 50 different tulip designs, and 216 stained glass windows, on the interior.

After a short walk, you'll enter the awe-inspiring Topkapi Palace Museum, a huge walled complex that hugs the Bosphorus. This former palace of Ottoman sultans is now a museum displaying an extraordinary collection of art, artifacts, and jewels, including the famed Topkapi Diamond. The windows promise breathtaking views of the Bosphorus, the Golden Horn and the Sea of Marmara.

Just inside the palace, the harem offers a revealing look into how the sultans of the Ottoman Empire lived. These private apartments were carefully situated so as not to be seen from the state apartments or courtyards where public affairs were conducted.

A delightful lunch, featuring Turkish specialities and beverages, will be served in a wonderful location surrounded by original Byzantine walls in the old city.

Your tour continues to the Grand Bazaar. This impressive covered market - the largest in the world with over 4.000 shops. You'll view a carpet demonstration and explore the shops filled with jewelry, carpets, leather ware, and copper goods. Bargaining is expected and half the fun.

Within minutes, you'll arrive at Hagia Sophia, also known as St. Sophia, the Church of Holy Wisdom. It was originally built by Constantine the Great, and later rebuilt by Emperor Justinian to be a "queen church" of the new empire. Considered one of the greatest surviving examples of Byzantine architecture, it's rich with mosaics and marble pillars and coverings.

Your tour concludes with a walk back to your motorcoach, and a relaxing drive back to the port. With Istanbul behind you, you leave with a myriad of unforgettable memories of a lifetime.

Detailed itinerary Show All Itinerary Details

Depart from ship for guided tour of the Blue Mosque

Details:
Travel time: 00:30 Transport type:Air Conditioned Motorcoach
Transport Capacity (Normal Use):35
Time at site:00:45 Inside Visit :Yes
Walking distance (yards):220
Total number of steps:15
Wheelchair accessible?:No
Restrooms available?:Yes
Shopping available?:No
Air conditioned?:No
Photo/Video opportunity?:Yes
Photo/Video restrictions?:Yes Notes

Tripod & flash are not allowed

Guided tour of Topkapi Treasury and Harem

Details:
Travel time: 00:10 Transport type:Walking
Time at site:02:10 Inside Visit :Yes
Walking distance (yards):1800
Total number of steps:6
Wheelchair accessible?:Yes Handicap
Restrooms available?:Yes
Free Time at Site (minutes):30 Shopping available?:No
Air conditioned?:No
Photo/Video opportunity?:Yes
Photo/Video restrictions?:Yes Notes

Tripod & flash are not allowed

Lunch at Kalyon Hotel Restaurant in the Old City

Details:
Travel time: 00:20 Transport type:Air Conditioned Motorcoach
Transport Capacity (Normal Use):35
Time at site:01:10 Inside Visit :Yes
Walking distance (yards):220
Wheelchair accessible?:Yes Handicap
Restrooms available?:Yes
Free Time at Site (minutes):20 Shopping available?:No
Air conditioned?:No
Photo/Video opportunity?:Yes
Photo/Video restrictions?:No

Shopping at the Grand Bazaar

Details:
Travel time: 00:15 Transport type:Air Conditioned Motorcoach
Transport Capacity (Normal Use):35
Time at site:01:30 Inside Visit :Yes
Walking distance (yards):745
Total number of steps:2
Wheelchair accessible?:Yes Handicap
Restrooms available?:Yes
Free Time at Site (minutes):70 Shopping available?:Yes
Air conditioned?:No
Currency accepted:USD Credit cards accepted: Yes
Photo/Video opportunity?:Yes
Photo/Video restrictions?:No

Guided tour of Hagia Sophia

Details:
Travel time: 00:10 Transport type:Air Conditioned Motorcoach
Transport Capacity (Normal Use):35
Time at site:01:00 Inside Visit :Yes
Walking distance (yards):300
Total number of steps:2
Wheelchair accessible?:Yes Handicap
Restrooms available?:Yes
Free Time at Site (minutes):15 Shopping available?:No
Air conditioned?:No
Photo/Video opportunity?:Yes
Photo/Video restrictions?:Yes Notes

Tripod & flash are not allowed

Re-board your motorcoach and return to your ship

Details:
Travel time: 00:30 Transport type:Air Conditioned Motorcoach
Transport Capacity (Normal Use):35

Tour timeline may vary to avoid overcrowding, etc.

Special Notes

 

St. Sophia is closed on Mondays but a special opening has been arranged for tour passengers. Topkapi Palace Museum is closed on Tuesdays but a special opening has been arranged for tour passengers. Blue Mosque is closed untill 2:00pm on Fridays. The visit will take place afternoon.

Attire for visiting the mosque should cover shoulders and knees; shoes must be removed before entering; bring or wear socks. Shoe bags will be provided. In addition to covering shoulders and knees, all women must cover their head with a scarf. Professional photography and flash are not allowed.

Please be aware of the ongoing restoration of the Topkapi Palace; some exhibits may be closed or artifacts might be on temporary loan to other museums. Your guide will not accompany you inside the Treasury Section of the palace.

The sequence of tour stops may vary; expect extreme dense traffic. Once in Old Istanbul, passengers will walk between the major sites.

This tour is not wheelchair accessible.

This tour uses headsets.

Child Price:

12 & under reduced

Number of Steps/Walking Distance:

For information on walking distances and/or the number of steps at each stop, please see the detailed itinerary above.

Wheelchair Accessibility:

For information on wheelchair accessibility, please see the detailed itinerary above.

Camera/Video Restrictions:

For information on camera/video restrictions at each stop, please see the detailed itinerary above.

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